The Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry, Dr. Kevin Harvey, says the reported case of the Zika virus in the Dominican Republic, is still to be confirmed.

Media reports have indicated that a 12-year-old girl in the Dominican Republic has become the first person in the Caribbean to contract the virus.

Dr. Harvey says the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO, suspects it’s Zika, but that has yet to be confirmed by laboratory tests.

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Meanwhile, Dr. Harvey says it’s difficult to say it’s ‘inevitable’ that the Zika virus will reach Jamaican shores.

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Dr. Kevin Harvey, Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry, speaking this afternoon with Nationwide News.

He notes that conditions such as international trade and travel and the existence of the mosquitoes which spread the virus make Zika a potential threat.

Dr. Harvey says the Health Ministry has alerted its regions and parishes to continue to work closely with Local Government to ensure an integrated approach to controlling the mosquito population.

This, as he notes that the mosquito population is on the increase following recent rains.

He says there’s been an increase in nuisance mosquitoes due to the settling of water in drains and other areas.